‘Love Is Blind’s’ Greatest Antagonist Is Anti-Science Hairstylist Shaina (2023)

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It takes a certain type of person to go on reality television and volunteer to have millions of strangers see a produced and edited portrayal of the “real” you — and it takes a certain subset of that certain type to go through the emotional wringer that is Netflix’s Love Is Blind. Most reality shows are either built around a specific skillset or at least confined to one location. People who end up on Project Runway or The Bachelor or Top Chef or The Circle are plucked out of their real lives and dropped into a larger-than-life situation. That’s only true for the first bit of Love Is Blind. After getting engaged sight unseen in the ominously nicknamed “pods,” the couples return to the real world and have to introduce their friends and family, people who did not sign up for this, to their brand new fiancés. Not only is their relationship with their soon-to-be spouse on the line, so are their relationships with all of their friends and families. What I’m saying is, Love Is Blind is the one of the most extreme examples of a reality show, and the same goes for some of the cast members.

So, let’s talk about Shaina — the icon, the star, the blueprint. Love Is Blind Season 2 is so chaotic in large part due to Shaina, who is such a natural at reality television. She’s a 31-year-old hairstylist who loves God, crop tops, and men who get their hands dirty — and she is drama incarnate. Shaina initially seemed like a pretty chill, but also kind of headstrong girl who could hang and get bawdy and hold her own. And like a lot of the women in Season 2, she was involved in a love triangle — well, a love rectangle — that spurred a lot of action in the first few episodes.

First there’s Shaina as seen through the manic eyes of real estate agent Shayne, a self-identified tool who never seems to blink. These two, both blonde as blonde can be, are a perfect match. He just wants to ask her what she’s wearing, she is always wearing crop tops, and he is always turned on by her descriptions of her outfits.

‘Love Is Blind’s’ Greatest Antagonist Is Anti-Science Hairstylist Shaina (3)
‘Love Is Blind’s’ Greatest Antagonist Is Anti-Science Hairstylist Shaina (4)

For these two, that’s such a strong foundation to build a relationship upon! Their energies are just so right — but both of them have eyes (or I guess ears) for others in the pods. Shayne feels a deep connection to Natalie, a quietly assertive (and sneakily sarcastic) career woman; and Shaina also vibes with Kyle, a witty construction worker. But there is one major problem with Shaina and Kyle: Kyle’s an atheist, and Shaina…?

‘Love Is Blind’s’ Greatest Antagonist Is Anti-Science Hairstylist Shaina (5)

Shaina’s a creationist who doesn’t believe in evolution and wants her husband to lead her spiritually. Kyle’s an atheist who doesn’t want to be brainwashed. Shaina thinks he’s the one who’s brainwashed. This is where Shaina starts to emerge as the Love Is Blind Season 2’s frontrunner in the drama competition. It’s not often that you hear someone on reality TV proudly proclaim that they don’t believe in evolution. Neither will budge and, honestly, neither should. They should both scratch each other’s names off their lists and Shaina should clearly draw a lot of stars and hearts around Shayne’s name.

So naturally Kyle proposes with his mother’s engagement ring. Shaina’s reaction says it all.

‘Love Is Blind’s’ Greatest Antagonist Is Anti-Science Hairstylist Shaina (6)

Unfortunately her words don’t match her face, and she… accepts the proposal. The woman is now engaged — and she immediately goes to confess her love for Shayne in a one-on-one that Shayne did not ask for. In fact, Shayne thought he was preparing to propose to Natalie! But Shaina had to take one final shot at the guy she was clearly more invested in. This right here, the brazenness to throw yourself at a man who is preparing to propose to someone else immediately after you got engaged, that is what reality stars are made of. This right here is when Shaina goes from good TV to great TV — to the maestro conducting the juiciest drama we’ve seen on Netflix in a while.

Watching Shaina have to take shots before and after meeting Kyle for the first time? Behold the master at work.

‘Love Is Blind’s’ Greatest Antagonist Is Anti-Science Hairstylist Shaina (7)

To be fair, this isn’t entirely on Shaina. If Shayne had leapt at Shaina’s declaration of love instead of proposing to his total opposite, we would’ve gotten some wild TV watching Shayna plan a wedding. But Shaina’s paired with Kyle, who is so hopelessly blinded by love that he needs to have matters of the heart spelled out for him, and then read aloud, and probably adapted into a motion picture. The fact that they called each other “brainwashed” should’ve been enough. Shaina bringing up that very argument when they first meet, totally deflating Kyle’s elation, should’ve been enough. Shaina leaving their vacation in Mexico on night one should have been enough! None of that was enough, and Shaina just kept playing along… even if it was clearly wearing a girl down.

‘Love Is Blind’s’ Greatest Antagonist Is Anti-Science Hairstylist Shaina (8)

Shaina’s commitment to making good television was way stronger than her commitment to Kyle, and that commitment took the couple all the way to Kyle meeting Shaina’s family. God-fearing Shaina brought her atheist fiancé to the (thankfully metaphorical) lion’s den. Not only does the subject of Kyle’s religion come up, it comes up in the most New Testament way possible.

‘Love Is Blind’s’ Greatest Antagonist Is Anti-Science Hairstylist Shaina (9)

And somehow, after surviving what felt like a dramatic reboot of Meet the Parents, Kyle still thinks the wedding is going to happen! Shaina finally breaks it to him: she cannot marry him! She needs a husband who’s “able to spiritually lead” her. Kyle is clearly not that man, was never that man, and will not be that man. And after failing to say that with all the required clap emojis back in the pods, in the interior breezeway (?) where they met, in Mexico before she peaced out, or when they reunited in Chicago, Shaina finally speaks her truth. Kyle’s done with her, but Shaina is not done with Love Is Blind. Shaina is now a free agent… and a loose cannon.

Just a reminder of all the shit Shaina got up to before finally breaking up with Kyle: she used the word “diffy-entiate,” told Shayne that she needed sex every day, confronted Shayne about him asking Natalie to be his girlfriend, laughed at the real Big Bang theory as if it was a joke on the show Big Bang Theory, told Kyle that she would “pray for you, babe,” said yes to a proposal and then revealed her feelings to Shayne, had to do shots of whiskey just to get through meeting her new fiancé, encouraged and enabled Kyle to eat meat even though he’s been a vegetarian for eight years (“Oh my god, ew, you need to eat meat”), ditched him in Mexico, and then handed him over to her family for a Godly interrogation. What an incredible reality TV run. And even though her storyline was ending, Shaina was just getting started.

With all of the cast back in Chicago, a reunion was held for everyone from the pods. Shaina, knowing this was her moment, pre-gamed by giving Natalie a call and jokingly (?) offering to set her up on a date with someone should her relationship with Shayne not work out. And then Shaina strolled into the reunion literally dressed for a showdown.

‘Love Is Blind’s’ Greatest Antagonist Is Anti-Science Hairstylist Shaina (10)

What Shaina accomplishes in just the last 9 minutes of Episode 6 — her final 9 minutes in the season, as far as we know! — is spectacular. She pulls Nick and Danielle aside and gives them the entire rundown about her simmering feud with Natalie over Shayne. I mean, she also just says what every single viewer is still wondering:

‘Love Is Blind’s’ Greatest Antagonist Is Anti-Science Hairstylist Shaina (11)

And then, like a badass who instinctively knows how to find the light and all of her best angles, Shaina pulls Shayne aside for a one on one that manages to cram in all of the tension of one of those early ’90s sexual thrillers. Shaina’s not there to plant a seed of doubt in Shayne’s mind about Natalie. Shaina’s there to plant a bomb.

She somehow manages to turn her offering to set Natalie up on a date into something Natalie did wrong, and then wonders if the couple are blowing this whole thing out of proportion because they’re “bored” in their relationship. Oh, and that word? Y’all, Shaina puts that word in quotes. In front of Shayne.

‘Love Is Blind’s’ Greatest Antagonist Is Anti-Science Hairstylist Shaina (12)

What’s mind-blowing about all of this is how unbothered Shayne is by Shaina. In fact, Shayne’s sitting there smiling and kind of flirting with Shaina while she reads his fiancee and calls Natalie’s character into question. And then, perhaps sensing that the sun is setting on her storyline now that she’s single and Shayne’s still in a “relationship,” she goes out swinging.

‘Love Is Blind’s’ Greatest Antagonist Is Anti-Science Hairstylist Shaina (13)

And that’s it for Shaina on Love Is Blind Season 2, unless she manages to crash Shayne and Natalie’s wedding in the finale. But Shaina doesn’t need to appear on Love Is Blind again to cement her as the MVSS (Most Valuable Shit-Stirrer).Shaina’s grip on Season 2 is so strong, she leaves a lasting impression on Shayne and Natalie’s storyline long, long after she leaves the actual narrative. Even when Shaina’s not on screen, the show is still under the shadow of her not-cowboy hat.

‘Love Is Blind’s’ Greatest Antagonist Is Anti-Science Hairstylist Shaina (14)

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